Historic goldmining town full of charm
Clunes was the site of Victoria's first gold strike. It is located in a steep valley surrounded by rounded hills which are actually extinct volcanoes (they can best be seen 3 km south along the road to Ballarat). It also happens to be one of the most intact 19th-century towns in the Central Goldfields boasting numerous sandstone, bluestone and brick buildings. Fraser St, the commercial centre, is wide and elegant, full of 19th-century shops with original store-fronts and distinctive verandahs, and lined with oak and elm trees. Film devotees may recognise Fraser St as, like the railway station, it was used in one of the Mad Max films.
Once a thriving gold town with a population well into the thousands Clunes is now down to about 1200 in an area principally given over to agriculture. It is located 147 km north-west of Melbourne via Creswick and 36 km north of Ballarat at an elevation of 311 metres.